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The Reachable Otherworld in Pale Fire

Author: ChenMin
Tutor: LuoXiaoYun
Course: English Language and Literature
Keywords: Pale fire Time-prison Otherworld Art Death
CLC: I512.074
Type: Master's thesis
Year: 2014
Downloads: 1
Quote: 0
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Vladimir Vladimirovich Nabokov (1899─1977), born in Russia,is a bright starin the literature history both of Russia and America. He is quite prolific and versatilewith many novels, short stories, poems, reviews and other works. Pale Fire, regardedas one of the founding fathers of postmodern experimental novels, is a complicatedand fascinating masterpiece among them. And many readers lose their way in thelabyrinth of it. Since its publication, with its strange and stunning hybrid constitutionof different literature forms---forward, poem, commentary, index and novel, PaleFire has received positive and negative criticism at home and abroad. Most of theseresearches focus on its strange and fragmented form, uncertainty and unreliability ofits narrator based on the theories like postmodernism, narratology, symbolisminfluenced by Russian literature and even psychology which is rather abominated byNabokov.This thesis will pay attention to its time theme---the time prison and theotherworld reflected in pale fire, which maybe one of the most important keys toopening the door of darkness to letting some pale light into those complicated butfascinating worlds structured in it. In Strong Opinions, Nabokov indicates that helikes reading Bergson’s works. So, this essay will start from this point first for thewriter of this essay strongly believes that the formation of Nabokov’s notion of timeprison and the otherworld is largely and deeply influenced by Bergsonism. So theanalysis will be more sufficiently and reasonably with the help of Bergsonism.This thesis is divided into four chapters. Nabokov’s view about time and thenotions of time prison and otherworld are firstly introduced with the support ofBergsonian related philosophy. The second chapter analyzes the characters’ differentprisons of time in pale fire. The third chapter is mainly about the characters’ effortsto seek for the ways to break the wall of time for to getting the otherworld. Theresemblance between Nabokov, Shade, and Kinbote will be discussed in the last chapter through which Nabokov’s otherworld in Pale fire will be deduced. Finally,this essay will conclude that literature art can get both the writer and readers to an“otherworld” different from the “real world”.

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